Expert tips for air travel with Blainey North

Author: Blainey North
Photography: Courtesy of Blainey North

Where do you travel for work?

"Mostly London at the moment. We've just opened a design studio and showroom in Mayfair. The city feels so alive with art and creativity. It inspires me."

How often are you away?

"Every month internationally, most weeks domestically. I love being on a plane. Your mind works differently in the air when it's liberated from commitments. I use the time to reflect and think about my life, or the business, or spend time designing."

Suitcase of choice?

"My Givenchy carry-on bag. It's exceptionally functional and looks fabulous. It took me about five years to gain the courage to finally buy it."

Pre-flight routine?

"I like to arrive early for an international flight, then sit down, read emails and get organised. To be honest, though, domestic flights are left down to the wire."

Essential cabin items?

"A sketchbook and Frequent Flyer Health Boost vitamins. I take them a few days before travelling to boost my immune system. I always use a Chantecaille Biodynamic Lifting Mask, a great tip from a flight attendant. You walk off the plane as if you never got on."

Onboard routine?

"A gin and tonic, sleep suit and a sketchbook at the ready."

Roll or fold?

"Roll. But I also hang far more than I should in a carry-on garment bag because I live in fear of my bag being lost."

Aisle or window?

"Aisle every time."

Who do you fly?

"Qantas and Etihad to Europe. Etihad beds are fantastic and its meal service is one of the rare places I can have hummus without garlic (I love hummus, but I'm allergic to garlic)."

How do hotels get it wrong for business travellers?

"What every business traveller needs at a hotel is someone who knows you. The ability to remember names - and especially my coffee order - is an underestimated and valuable skill. A hotel gets it wrong if I've been with them for more than two nights and they still don't remember my name."

Favourite hotels for business?

"In London, The Connaught. In LA, the Beverly Hills Hotel. In NYC, the Greenwich. In Paris, the Plaza Athénée."

Blainey North is managing director of Blainey North & Associates and Blainey North Collection, with showrooms in Sydney and London. Recent projects include the Villas, Crystal Club and Conservatory at Crown Towers in Melbourne, Crown Metropol Perth, and a range of luxury homes and super-yachts.

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